Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Spiritual Man-Children

Wednesday of the Teenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
(click here for readings)


I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.”

At some point in a person's life, they need to grow up and become an adult. They must know how to function independently, think independently, live independently. They must adapt to the changing world while seeking to change it. They must finally come to terms with reality instead of making up fantasies of their own or taking the fantasies of others. Once a person becomes an adult, they need to answer some very important questions about the meaning of their life.

If a person delays this process, and modern life certainly encourages this infantilization, they become a burden both to others and themselves. Not only do they lack the independence and strength of an adult, but they lack the humility and potential of a child. The man-child, as they are called, has the worst of both the child and adult world: they are weak, dependent, slow to adapt, and they are somehow proud of it. In movies, we laugh at these types of people; in real life, we loathe these types. We observe how these men—and sometimes, women—have squandered their opportunities to excel and truly distinguish themselves in things besides drinking, hooking up, and playing video games.

One may wonder what drives a whole generation of not-so-young people to remain perpetual children, spurning the great joys of family, work, and education for the lame thrills of pornography, netflix binging, and internet trolling. Nothing drives them, which is the problem: young people, and most others, lack the drive to become adults. Popular culture has relentlessly railed against conventional adulthood by ridiculing parenthood, marriage, intelligence, and taking responsibility for anything. Since most parents and schools have abrogated their duty to instill a desire to grow up and achieve, leaving pop culture to fill the void, kids have simply grown older without necessarily growing more mature.

Considering the unattractive outcome of an overgrown parasite sponging off others, one may wonder why parents and schools have dropped the ball so badly in this regard. Inevitably, to better grasp this issue, along with most others, one must look at spiritual aspect, as Paul does. The spiritual aspect involves principles and morals. When we think of adulthood, what it means and entails, we are informed by the Church and Her models. Jesus and the apostles demonstrate the importance and attractiveness of real manhood. Mary and the other women show the importance and attractiveness of real womanhood. The men and women of the gospel have an amazing strength any person would want to emulate. Unfortunately, few young people ever know of those adults. They only know of the fake-adults on television and their under-aged peers at daycare and school. Thus, they never develop any idea of adulthood or the morality of adulthood; the live in perpetual childhood while their parents work or live somewhere else.

To compound the problem, most adults suffer the same problems as the Corinthians, suffering from spiritual immaturity, which nearly always precedes all other forms of immaturity. Perhaps they learn the skills necessary for work, or for school, but in terms of their faith, they often cling to the lessons they might have learned as third graders preparing for First Communion. Misinterpreting Christ's command that “one must be as little child” to enter heaven, they believe that being a helpless ignoramus about the faith somehow equates them with children. Paul promptly correct this foolishness, encouraging his adult converts to grow out of such childishness.

Obviously, growing into spiritual maturity does not mean to have a Master's or Doctorate in theology or biblical studies. Paul rather preaches a conscious faith that leads one to move away from things of the world and toward things of the spirit. In practical terms, this means dispensing with church politics, petty boasting, and quarreling, and acknowledging all Christians as brothers and sisters, God as master, and Christ's love as truth.
With the life of the spirit comes constant prayer, fasting from worldly goods, and giving alms to the needy; it is an active life that requires a capable adult filled with hope, capable of self-discipline and generosity.

Above all, the spiritual adult, as well as the material adult, must spurn selfishness and narcissism. He cares for others, not otherwise; and in this care, he will find Christian joy. The world may mock him, since the world does not want to grow up, but being an adult, he will know not to listen. Empowered with the wisdom of experience and maturity, he can attempt to bring those overgrown children out of nursery of sin and into the transcendent world of the Holy Trinity.

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